Influence Of Environment On The Individual

1162 words - 5 pages

Influence of Environment on the Individual
Phaedra Rosengarth
November 15, 2010
Judith Glass

Influence of Environment on the Individual
“By the conclusion of the nineteenth century, the new American nation that had begun the century clinging to a narrow strip of land along the Atlantic coast, untested in its politics, shaky in its economy, and an infant in its arts, had stretched westward over a vast continent, established its military and political might in conflicts at home and aboard, built an astonishing prosperity from its natural resources and its national talent for invention and industry, and developed a rich and enduring literature” (Perkins, p. 1321).
In 1800, the ...view middle of the document...

Many Americans looked back with wistfulness to the country's pre-industrial past even as they cheered the deeds of the twentieth century.
The silver problem dominated economic discussions and led to the rise of William Jennings Bryan, a frequent presidential contender. However, the Election of 1896 was a traditional victory, bringing William McKinley to power. His first term was dominated by the war with Spain and the second was cut short by assassination. A nationwide reform movement known as Liberalism developed and comprised of women’s suffrage, civic reform, state reform, abstinence, immigration reform and a host of social reforms. McKinley’s murder in 1901 brought the American hero, Theodore Roosevelt, to the presidency. The Election of 1908 brought in a more conservative leader, William Howard Taft. His domestic policy featured successful trust busting, but Taft broke with his predecessor over conservation issues. Woodrow Wilson profited from the split between Roosevelt and Taft and continued with Liberal bills: Federal Reserve Act (1913), Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) and Federal Trade Commission Act (1914).
It was in this social and political environment that literary authors such as Stephen Crane started to make a name for themselves. Although Stephen Crane has written a number of novels, short stories, and poems, he is best known for his novel “The Red Badge of Courage”, which shows “the actualities of war, in this case, the Battle of Chancellorsville” (Perkins and Perkins, 2009, p. 1350) in all its brutality and degradation. “The Red Badge of Courage” was “written by a man who had no battle experience but whose imagination quickly absorbed the tales of Civil War veterans and the dramatic reality of Matthew Brady’s photographs of combat” (Perkins and Perkins, 2009, p. 1350).
Some of the literary elements that Stephen Crane uses in his poem, “Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind” (Perkins and Perkins, 2009, p. 1351) include a serious writing style, because he is speaking of war and loss. In it, he speaks to a maiden about not weeping because her “lover threw wild hands toward the sky and the affrighted steed ran on alone,” meaning that the young man had been shot and fell from his horse. He is also writing in the 1st person point of view, because he is the one writing to the maiden, the baby, and the mother about their loved ones. He uses a simple and easy to understand vocabulary, as well...

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